- Operant Behavior is emitted or evoked by the organism’s history of consequences.
- Operant conditioning is a type of learning in which an organism learns to associate a behavior with a consequence. The consequence can either reinforce or punish the behavior, increasing or decreasing the likelihood that the behavior will occur again in the future.
- One classic example of operant conditioning is B.F. Skinner’s experiment with pigeons, in which he trained them to peck a button in order to receive food. As the pigeons learned that pecking the button led to food, they increased the frequency of the behavior.
- Another example of operant conditioning is a child who learns that if they throw a tantrum in a grocery store, their parent will give them candy to quiet down. The candy serves as a reinforcement for the tantrum, increasing the likelihood that the child will throw a tantrum again in the future. On the other hand, if the parent were to ignore the tantrum, it would serve as a punishment, decreasing the likelihood that the child would throw a tantrum again in the future.
**It’s important to note that while respondent and operant conditioning are distinct types of learning, they often occur together in real-world situations. For example, Imagine someone eats a particular food and then becomes nauseous due to food poisoning (respondent conditioning). As a result, they develop an aversion to that food. Their avoidance of that food represents operant conditioning, as they are engaging in a behavior to avoid a negative consequence.